Thursday, 1 November 2012

Home-made Grape Wine: Kerala Style

Something that makes me happy about entering the world of blogging is that I have this urge to try out some of my family recipes that I wouldn't even have given a second thought to, had I not been blogging. I am on the phone and emails, contacting my Mum, Grandma, Uncles, Aunts and cousins for recipes that were long forgotten. One of it is the recipe for home-made grape wine. With a myriad of wine options available in the market today, whether it is to serve as an appetiser, to serve along with food or to serve as a dessert, making wine at home was considered a tedious task. Not any more!

Wine making is an art that was mastered by the French for centuries with exquisite flavours and aromatics that make their wine so distinct. And probably, it is they who brought their recipes to Kerala for wines. Though Kerala does not have the optimum weather (temperate) for wine-making, people in Kerala have still mastered the art, which though is not comparable to the impeccable French wines, definitely have a mark of its own in Kerala Christian culture and is unavoidable for celebrations; most of these wines belong to the dessert wine category.

Each ingredient that is used in making wine has a role to play in the final product. The fruit that is used for making wine gives the essential flavour to it, the sugar imparts sweetness, the yeast is for fermentation and the spices are for the aroma. The strength of the wine is determined by the amount of wheat or barley used and can be reduced to prepare wine with less strength. And finally the egg-white helps to make the wine clear. You could also use bentonite or pectic enzyme for this purpose but this affects the flavour of wine. I skipped using egg white in making wine because we didn't have any issues with the cloudy wine. But what I did notice is that once the wine is bottled, leave it untouched for a few weeks and you can actually see the wine clearing up with solids sedimenting at the bottom. Pour the wine into newer bottles and discard the sediments. And Viola! You have some home-made wine ready for any celebration at home.
 Makes: 4 litres approx.
Preparation Time: 1 month minimum

Ingredients
  • 1 kg sweet black grapes, washed and stalks removed  (seeded or seedless)
  • 1.5 kg caster sugar
  • 4 litres water, boiled and cooled to room temperature
  • 200g wheat or barley kernels
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 tsp mace, crushed
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick , crushed
  • 1egg white (around 30 g)
Method
1. Crush grapes using your hands. Dissolve yeast in 2 tbsp lukewarm water and let it foam. Mix grapes and foamed yeast together with the remaining ingredients (except for egg white) and stir until sugar dissolves. Keep in a tightly closed porcelian or glass container in a cool dark place.
2. Leave this untouched for 7 days. Open the lid on the 7th day and you will notice the wine is foaming well. From the 7th day start stirring with a wooden spoon for 21 days, preferably at the same time every day. At the end of 21 days, you will notice that the mixture has stopped foaming. Depending on the weather conditions, it may take more or less days to stop the foaming process. Ideally, you should stop stirring when the foaming stops. If in doubt you could taste a few drops of your wine mixture occassionally to check on the taste of your wine to determine if you want to stop the process of fermentation or not.
3. Once the wine mixture has stopped foaming, drain the wine and discard solids. Keep the wine back in the porcelian or glass container for two more days, closed and untouched. You will notice some of the finer solids have settled down. Drain the the clear wine above and discard the sediments.
4. Now mix egg white to the wine and leave it in the container, closed and untouched for a few more days. You will notice more sediments at the bottom and also that the wine is more clearer. Drain wine off solids, bottle it up and store in a cool, dark place or refrigerate.
Variation
- My Uncle who is an expert in home-made wines, ensured me that I could use stainless steel containers for wine making too. So I actually prepared this wine using one and it did not affect the taste of the wine. In fact, my Uncle has been using this technique for years.
- My wine stopped foaming in 14 days after the first 7 days of leaving it untouched.
- I skipped using egg white to clear the wine. I just bottled the wine and in a few weeks time noticed a more clearer wine at the top of the bottle with more sediments settling down at the bottom of the bottle. So it is not really necessary to use egg whites.

Sending this to 60 Days to Christmas event hosted by  http://youtoocancookindianfood.blogspot.in and http://cooklikepriya.blogspot.co.uk.
And I was lucky to get the best wine recipe award from Divya and Priya. Thank You girls!

10 comments:

  1. Lovely and informative post with a great Christmas treat :-) personally I don't like the taste of wine but this seems to really good. Its great to find a genuine recipe and from a family source, we can be sure that is tried, tested and loved by many.Thanks a ton for visiting my space and linking this beautiful entry to our event. Your new follower and must say you have a great collection of recipes and hope to keep meeting you often through your cooking.

    Love
    Priya
    60 Days to Christmas
    Cook like Priya





    ReplyDelete
  2. hi dear i did reply to your email....long bk....but here is the msg that i replied and left a comment at your space too..

    here it is....
    Thanks for stopping by..... :)

    Hi dear....can you drop an email to anushoj@gmail.com so that i can follow up with you in emails.

    I have two series event going on right now....

    the first one is "SYF&HWS- Cook With SPICES" Series Event
    the second one is "South Indian Cooking (SIC)" Series Event

    If you scroll down the post you can find the calendar and you can choose any month which is open for the second event.
    for the first event check the calendar HERE...

    Actually for the first event....the blogger assigned for next month (Nov 2012) dropped off from hosting this event for the month, so if you would like to guest host it lemme know....it's easy though cos I would give a post draft and the designed event logo....you just need to post on the exact date.

    Like your space too and following you too....

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  3. Wow, I will stop buying now and making it. Thanks.

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  4. I love making wines at home for Christmas,mine is on the way for this year too but you are far ahead,lovely preparation..love the home made flavor:)
    I too skip egg whites some time but have added too at times too:)
    Regarding your guest hosting request,right now I have no slot left..and majority of the herbs & spices are covered..but in future if I invite hosts,will surely let you know in advance..Thanx for your interest to host:)
    Join my ongoing EP events-Asafoetida OR Fennel seeds @ Divya's Culinary Journey

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  5. Wow dear awesome post and good write up loved the color of wine too..Looks like you have a lot of delectable recipes here in this lovely space :) Will come back for more.... Happy to follow you!!
    Easy Mushroom Curry / Mushroom Kulambu
    60 Days to Christmas - Event & Giveaway

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  6. would never have thought of homemade wine - what a pretty color!

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  7. Congrats.It's completely new to me..

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  8. why is that egg white added, what's its function

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